Updated: Mar 2
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
I don’t know why, but the Great Commission has been on my mind as of late. Perhaps it is because I’m doing my 2-5-10 year plan, as is Session and each of the committees. We did this exercise when I first arrived five years ago. I wonder, do you ever set your Great Commission goals? What do you as a member of FPCLC and a Christian want to accomplish, get moving on? Lent seems exactly the right time to be thinking about these things.
I find the two and five year goals pretty easy to do... but it is the ten-year vision that gets really cloudy... at least for me. They are a few things I bring with me after 35 plus years in the corporate world where one must be that way.
Tim and I have laid out all the music and texts through Pentecost and now I am working on my weekly bible studies, weekly Lenten Journey videos, and looking at what classes I can teach. I’m trying to see what things will look like as we begin to move beyond COVID-19... after all it has been a whole year now and I think we’ve adapted pretty well.
I have always found it good to reacquaint myself with the purpose I do things... sort of my job description. I look at and study what I am called to do. I am called to preach and teach the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am called to serve you all as your pastor and sheepdog. There are a lot of "things" that make up those calls.
Many times, our calls in the "heat of the battle", yes, our lives as Christians really are battles, and we get distracted. I often say we take our eye off the prize. I ask myself... is the task furthering God's work or plan? I don't know about all of you, but my path, or should I say journey on that path, is one that is zigzagged. Yes, as I look back, I have been distracted by many squirrel moments!
Yup, I know you all find it hard to believe (NOT!) that I can get distracted. Maybe it is the refrigerator turning on in Fellowship Hall or the creaking of something in the Sanctuary, or Choir Room. Maybe it was the internet that stopped working or the song that I just had to sing. Perhaps I just can’t help myself singing along as Tim rehearses or records. Oh, and then there's the cup of coffee I left in the coffee maker.
All of this while I was writing a sermon or perhaps the newsletter article that is two days
late (sorry Nikki, again). “SQUIRREL!” As far as I know, Jesus is the only one born
who knew why he was here. He never lost sight of his goal... his purpose... never. Jesus never let the “squirrel” get him. He knew his divine purpose and he lived and stuck by it! He kept his eyes on the prize...his hour...the hour(s) of the cross. He came to make good on the covenant God made with Abraham. He came to die for us, to cleanse our sins in his blood, body broken, so we might live with him in paradise,eternally. He boldly walked his path and his was a straight line! He never lost his drive, his steadfastness, his love. Oh he got frustrated, but he never veered off path.
My goal this Lent is to walk the path straighter, to not get distracted and not grow
weary. I pray I don't get caught chasing the side issues and that I stay on task. You see,
Jesus received all the "authority in heaven and on earth" and we are called to listen to him... to obey him. I pray I don't get caught in the arguments of the day or the
distractions that are thrown at me. I pray and make my goal that if I do the things I am
called to do, that if some don't believe, it is OK, I just shake the sand off of my sandals
and move on to the next task at hand. I pray, I trust that the Holy Spirit does the work of
change of heart and gives me the strength of heart to keep on keeping on! I pray that I
can pray more. I pray I remember to pray before being caught up in the busyness of the
I urge you to read Jesus' prayer for us in John 17:1-26. Study it, think about it, and keep it in your heart. When you get distracted, be reminded that you are protected and given
the strength of Jesus Christ. Then you can, with that power, all that authority, worship God fully, love everyone like yourself and GO… GO and answer the Great Commission. Remembering, Jesus is always with you, to the end of the age.